Experts stressed the need for making the world a safer place where people are able to live with dignity and respect, during a seminar, held to highlight the importance of social scientists, at the Arts Auditorium of the University of Karachi on Thursday.
Speaking at the seminar, they outlined various factors that hamper the development of progressive society and said that in the current scenario, problems including poverty, inflation, recession inequality, dependency and monetary issues have marred human life.
Addressing the subject, Professor Paul Alter Komesaroff of Australia's Monash University said that social scientists research to overcome these problems, particularly in the areas of human welfare and development.
He informed the audience that social scientists are largely concerned with the social and economic advancement to reduce socio-economic deprivations as a whole. They work on developing strategies, planning and programming to devise a solution for alleviating poverty in developing countries, he added.
Social sciences will help youth make reasoned decisions, speakers
He further mentioned that social scientists have also come up with new ways for incorporating women into the workforce to eliminate poverty and hunger. They have identified barriers and challenges faced by women at workplaces and are trying to attain gender equality, said Prof Komesaroff.
He said that social scientists believe that every individual citizen should feel empowered and build an environment where people can challenge prejudice, inspire learning and be more productive in contemporary societies.
Another speaker, Dr James Kay of Kenya's Kabarak University said that work is central to human existence because it offers the possibility for the full range of human experiences and gives meaning to life.
He said that existential fulfillment and work engagement are indicators of positive mental hygiene and promote adaptive coping at the workplace. Globally, only 13.6 per cent of employees are engaged at work, 61.7 percent are disengaged and 23.3 percent actively disengaged, he added.
Dr Kay shared that Latin America has the highest work engagement levels at 31 per cent, followed by North America at 27 per cent, Africa and the Middle East at 23 per cent and the least work engagement levels are reported in Europe at 19 per cent.
The KU Vice Chancellor Professor Khalid Mahmood Iraqi also spoke on the occasion. He said that society needs proficient social scientists who can play a prominent role in the social development program implementation. He mentioned that the value of social scientists in society is undeniable as they promote learning and research trends towards social issues to raise the quality of life.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2019.
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